American Economic Policy in the 1980s (National Bureau of by Martin Feldstein

By Martin Feldstein

Destined to turn into the traditional consultant to the industrial coverage of the us in the course of the Reagan period, this ebook presents an authoritative checklist of the industrial reforms of the 1980s.In his creation, Martin Feldstein presents compelling research of rules with which he was once heavily concerned as chairman of the Council of financial Advisers throughout the Reagan management: financial and alternate fee coverage, tax coverage, and finances concerns. different major economists and policymakers research quite a few family and foreign matters, together with financial and trade fee coverage, rules and antitrust, in addition to exchange, tax, and finances policies.The participants to this quantity are Alberto Alesina, Phillip Areeda, Elizabeth Bailey, William F. Baxter, C. Fred Bergsten, James Burnley, Geoffrey Carliner, Christopher DeMuth, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Thomas O. Enders, Martin Feldstein, Jeffrey A. Frankel, Don Fullerton, William M. Isaac, Paul L Joskow, Paul Krugman, Robert E. Litan, Russell B. lengthy, Michael Mussa, William A. Niskanen, Roger G. Noll, Lionel H. Olmer, Rudolph Penner, William Poole, James M. Poterba, Harry M. Reasoner, William R. Rhodes, J. David Richardson, Charles Schultze, Paula Stern, David Stockman, William Taylor, James Tobin, W. Kip Viscusi, Paul A. Volcker, Charles E. Walker, David A. clever, and Richard G. Woodbury.

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Despite the relatively strong growth in the fist year of the recovery, plausible estimates of the future path of expansion (estimatesthat subsequently proved to be essentially correct) left unacceptably high budget deficits for the indefinite future. The spending cuts that could be proposed in an election year were not large enough to make a significant dent in the projected deficits. Once again, the Treasury supply-siders and their allies outside the administration argued that no tax increase was needed because growth would continue at a fast enough pace to provide the additional revenue.

The staff at the Treasury and at the congressional Joint Tax Committee estimated the revenue consequences of the proposed changes on the assumption that the lower capital gains tax rates would have no effect on taxpayers’ decisions to realize gains. The opponents of reducing the capital gains tax rate, including the Carter administration, charged that the projected revenue loss was too large to be acceptable. The supporters of lower capital gains taxes, who were generally unaware of the “no behavioral response” assumption used by the revenue estimators, argued that the projected loss of revenue was worth accepting because a lower capital gains tax would encourage venture capital and other activities that would contribute to economic growth.

While it is perhaps not surprising that the 1981 legislation was followed by several small tax bills in succeeding years to reduce the budget deficit, it is quite remarkable that Congress enacted another change in tax rules in the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and did so as a piece of tax reform without any expected net revenue impact. The specific features of the 1986 legislation reflected several of the intellectual developments that I have already discussed. It can be seen as a shift in emphasis from increasing the rate of investment to using the available investment dollars more efficiently.

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